New Year, New Me. That’s how the saying goes, right? Well, I don’t like it. And I also despise New Year’s resolutions. You are welcome to disagree with me, but I see them as an unwanted responsibility. Think about it, how many have you actually accomplished? In my 35 years on this planet, I can honestly say my answer is zero.
One year my resolution was to be able to complete one pull-up by the end of the year. I was super into the gym the previous fall and thought, why not? First of all, I can barely do a push-up. Secondly, I’m pretty sure I’ve never won an arm wrestling match (I have freakishly strong friends). And last, but not least, why was this my main concern???
So, here we are in 2017 and my life is no different. If anything, I’ve backtracked. This week is the week I am to move all of my stuff out of my house, my old house. My home. The only home I’ve known in Pittsburgh. The only home I’ve known since I left my mom’s house in 1999.
Think back to when you left for college or when you moved out of your parents’ house for the first time. It was exciting, right? New horizons. New beginnings. New people and places. What did you pack? I wish I could remember.
I have walked through this house, my home for eight years, and I have no idea where to start. These items, these memories, these things that I gathered to turn this house into a home mean nothing now. But yet, something has to be done with them. The clothing that I have lived nearly five months without. The pictures I can barely stand to look at. The decorations I made with my hands and my heart. The antiques I collected on a Sunday afternoon. And the kitchen gadgets I miss so much because that is how I learned to cook. There are pillows and blankets and so many things that provided comfort to me when my world was slowly falling apart. I have the opportunity to box them up and make them mine again.
And it fucking sucks.
Let me ask you now to think of your home. What comes to mind? I am sure to many of you it is where you live presently or where you grew up or, if you’re smart, where the people you love reside. That is where I aim to be.
Like I said, I hate resolutions. I believe in change. I believe in trying to be better. I believe in becoming a better person. And I hate myself for thinking for a second that a new calendar would bring a happier me. Because I hate to break it to you, that’s not how it works.
A home is a place where you feel safe. And don’t get me wrong, I have that now. I have two people who have taken such good care of me since the life I knew disappeared. Funny they both go by the name of Alex, which ironically means defender of men. I have never known a meaning more true. They would both go to war for me. And for that, I am lucky.
If you look up the meaning of home in the dictionary, it is described as the place where one lives permanently. I can list places, names and definitions, but I know where I permanently dwell and, as scary as it sounds, my home is me.
This is my goal. I want to feel safe within myself in 2017. Next week I am headed back to where it all began. Not permanently. But right now, I need to recharge. I have found a yoga class and a gym. I have a pile of books I plan on reading and a laptop where I can write. I need to research jobs in Pittsburgh. Ones that will truly fill this void inside of me. And I hope to come back here with the smile and the optimism I’m sure some of you remember.